ERIC Number: EJ1055260
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Adapting an Outcome-Based Education Development Process to Meet Near Real-Time Challenges to Sustainable Agricultural Production
Halbleib, Mary L.; Jepson, Paul C.
Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, v21 n2 p109-126 2015
Purpose: This paper examines the benefits of using an outcome-based education (OBE) method within agricultural extension outreach programmes for professional and farmer audiences. Design/Methodology/Approach: The method is elaborated through two practical examples, which show that focused, short-duration programmes can produce meaningful skill development and impacts at the farm level. Both examples addressed pressing problems that were evolving during the education programme, and we sought a method that would respond adaptively to local circumstances and unanticipated changes. Key aspects of the method include strategic planning to properly focus education programmes, and the integration of data-driven decision support tool development to reduce uncertainty associated with the use of high-risk pest management inputs. Findings: Professionals and farmers increased their knowledge and skills related to pesticide management, and follow-up evaluation documented high levels of adoption of risk reduction and mitigation practices by farmers. Practical Implications: We recommend OBE for several reasons: (1) it uses a group process to elicit an accurate view of the system that learners operate within, (2) it provides cohesive and active learning with the potential for continuation, and (3) it enables feedback between all stages of programme development and implementation. Originality/Value: The most novel aspect of our adaptation of the OBE approach is the integration of, and feedback between, participatory programme design and tool development throughout the process, which maximises the value of each, and their ability to deliver outcomes. The OBE method integrates science, technology and social learning, and connects these with authentic problem-solving tasks to perpetuate learning beyond the classroom to where outcomes are attained.
Descriptors: Outcome Based Education, Rural Extension, Outreach Programs, Agricultural Production, Sustainability, Skill Development, Strategic Planning, Decision Support Systems, Animals, Poisoning, Risk, Program Effectiveness, Pretests Posttests, Surveys, Adult Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Oregon
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A